Tuesday, November 13, 2018

New book! - Hollywood vs. the Author


I’m psyched to announce that I have an essay in Hollywood vs. the Author, out today.

Hollywood vs. the Author

It’s (almost) every author’s dream to sell their book or series to Hollywood. But most know very little about the actual process, despite the vague and slightly terrifying rumors—which authors tend to ignore as exaggerations, too completely absurd to be real.

Hah.

My friend Stephen Jay Schwartz, former Director of Development for Wolfgang Peterson, has assembled a great list of authors who have sold books to Hollywood, authors who have worked as screenwriters, showrunners, TV producers, and authors who have written movie tie-ins.

My own essay, A Woman Wouldn’t Do That, recounts some of the surreal experiences I had in development hell during my ten years as a working screenwriter—before I snapped and wrote my first novel. I compare the two jobs – screenwriting vs. writing books— and talk about how I came full circle, back to Hollywood, once I had written a successful novel series that was a natural for the fantastic new age of television we’re in. 

The Huntress Moon series
There’s a lot to learn here, from Michael Connelly’s harrowing experience with fine print (and how he triumphed over it, by betting on himself with Bosch), to Larry Block’s hilarious recount of the vagaries of casting, to Tess Gerritsen’s heartbreaking and timely reminder that a bad judge makes bad judgments—that we all have to live with.

Between us all, we cover the good, the bad, the horrific, and the flat-out unbelievable.

And the audiobook, out December 5, is really a treat - it's read by all of the authors, ourselves!

So if selling your book to Hollywood is your dream, you owe it to yourself to check out these valuable lessons before you sign on that dotted line.

Stephen Jay Schwartz, editor, with essays by Lawrence Block, Michael Connelly, Gregg Hurwitz, Andrew Kaplan, Tess Gerritsen, Diana Gould, Lee Goldberg, James Brown, Alexandra Sokoloff, Ron Roberge, T. Jefferson Parker, Alan Jacobson, Max Allan Collins, Peter James, Naomi Hirahara, and Joshua Corin – plus an interview with Jonathan Kellerman.

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1 comment:

Alejandro De La Garza said...

Congratulations on getting your essay published in this book, Alexandra. I’m certain you, along with the other writers, had plenty to say on this subject. I’ve always been curious about the tense relationship between writers and the filmmakers who attempt to translate their books into visual format. I’ve also often said Hollywood rarely gets it right. Writers generally love to see their works converted into film or television. But the arrogance of some producers and directors is as nauseating as it is overwhelming.

I have a friend who lives in the Los Angeles area, works at ABC TV and aspires to be a screenwriter. He’s very well aware of the often-strained relationship between authors and the Hollywood crowd. I’m slated to have my debut novel published by the end of next month, so I’m excited. But I’m not too keen to see it converted into a film or TV series. I know that might mean big money for me, but I’m just too leery of others.

Indeed, it’s a love-hate relationship. But, while writers need to get their work published, they don’t need to have it picked up by film and TV producers. The latter group, however, do need new material to produce – although with the current pack of movie and TV series remakes, I have to wonder how much of a risk Hollywood producers are willing to take these days. Either way, it seems writers are always struggling for respect and recognition.